I have followed the anti-abortion and pro-abortion debate for a long time. The first time I heard the debate at a forum was some five years ago at a reproductive health workshop. The jam-packed room, never came to agree as to who was right or wrong—is it the pro-abortion or the anti-abortion campaigners?
The anti-abortion group’s main argument is that abortion is equal to murder. On the other hand the, the pro-abortion side argues that a woman should have a choice to either carry the pregnancy to full term or not. They also argue that if a woman decides that she doesn’t want to carry the pregnancy to full term, she should be accorded safe environment and treatment to terminate the pregnancy.
The country’s laws do not allow abortion except in a situation where the life of either the woman or child is at risk—only then is safe abortion accorded. Since the debate started, conspicuously missing has been the loud voice of women.
Apart from a few who have done so on social media, many women have kept quiet. I am not sure whether that is a silent protest by women.
I have no problem with people or institutions debating. However, I have a problem with men and institutions that try to control a woman’s body.
The choice of whether to abort or not, lies with the one carrying the pregnancy. It’s her womb and she is in-charge of it, not men, institutions or morality. It is that simple.
One thing that those who took to the streets need to know is that there is nothing that can stop a woman who has a made a decision to abort a pregnancy. She will do it no matter the circumstances, law or no law.
Many women have died because of seeking unsafe abortion services. It is, therefore, only right that such women be given safe environment and treatment if and when they require it.
To argue that once abortion is legalised women will be falling pregnant willy-nilly—knowing they can abort it is easily, is an argument that is fallacious. Then there are those who argue as though women are irrational beings who need to be guided on how and what to think.
I believe children should be wanted and not forced to be wanted. The role of government is to ensure that its citizens are well looked after and that includes its female citizens’ reproductive health.
So, all you busybodies take a seat. This is a woman’s issue and let women decide what they want. n